I was inspired by another thread here about an earlier, incomplete attempt to restore this film.
A.D. Anno Domini was broadcast and released in various forms over the years. In the USA, it aired over five nights, during Holy Week 1985, totaling 12 hours (including commercial breaks). Without commercial interruptions, it probably ran somewhere between 9 and 10 hours.
The film is a joint Italian/American production and is a spiritual sequel (pun) to Franco Zeffirelli’s JESUS OF NAZARETH, retaining some of the production personal, most notably writer Anthony Burgess. Set just after the death of Jesus Christ, this miniseries chronicles the life & adventures of Jesus’s disciples, and events in Rome during the reigns of the Emperors Tiberius, Caligula, Claudius and Nero. (It’s basically a remake of I, CLAUDIUS with the Acts of the Apostles mixed in.)
There is no complete, high quality version of this film available to buy commercially. There was a 5 tape VHS set released at one point in the USA. There is currently an American DVD released by a Christian publisher which has sub-par image and hours of missing scenes. Currently the best picture comes from a German DVD set. The box states the runtime of the DVD set at 506 minutes, and even this set is missing approximately an hour or more of footage. There are also many low-quality VHS rips from different countries on YouTube containing many missing scenes.
I have created a 5-part reconstruction which should be close to the original US broadcast. I used the German DVD for all available footage, and then added in the best quality VHS rips I could find for the missing scenes. My reconstruction runs 9 hours and 42 minutes. One short scene in Part 1 contains non-English dialog (all I could find).
I believe the order of the opening and closing scenes for some of the episodes were changed a bit from the US broadcast for the German DVD. I have restored what I believe to be the US order of scenes.
Requests: Can anyone point towards the original US 5 VHS set for the best possible quality source for missing DVD scenes? And would anyone know of an off-air recording of the USA broadcast, so I can check my work?
All 5 parts on YouTube: https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PL1f8KNwAsfvsvM4FyYbsOLpSFK_D8uTuL